ZURICH: A legal wrangle may be looming between the judicial authorities of the United States and Uruguay over who sets their hands on Eugenio Figueredo writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Figueredo, former president of The South American confederation CONMEBOL, was detained in Zurich on May 27 on the eve of FIFA Congress with six other senior football and marketing executives. He was then the subject of an extradition application by the US Department of Justice over corruption, fraud and money-laundering allegations out of the $200m FIFAGate investigation.
On September 17, the Swiss authorities approved Figueredo’s extradition but he appealed before agreeing to another extradition application from Uruguay, where he is also alleged to have committed financial misconduct in office.
On Friday the Swiss Federal Office of Justice decided to allow priority to the Uruguayan application because criminal investigations in Uruguay into irregularities in connection with the award of marketing rights had been ongoing for several years and covered more tournaments than the US investigations.
The FOJ also ruled that Uruguay would be able to prosecute Figueredo on suspicion of having acquired US citizenship fraudulently. This latter prosecution would be conducted at the request of the US authorities.
This means that Figueredo could be tried in Uruguay for all of the offences of which he is accused. In the USA, the prosecution would cover only some of the charges.
** Eduardo Li, former president of the Costa Rican football federation, has been extradited to the US. Li also was arrested in Zurich on May 27 on the basis at the request of the US.